S. 2191 AKA The Climate Security Act will put a national cap on greenhouse gases created by burning coal, oil or natural gas. The measure is a bipartisan creation sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), John Warner (R-VA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who heads the Senate’s Environment Committee.
The legislation would require factories, power plants, refineries and other heavy industry to pay the government for permits to emit greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide. Companies also could trade permits among themselves and even bank them to use when needed. Economists who’ve analyzed this “cap-and-trade” program say it could generate about $6 trillion by 2050 — most of it from industry coffers.
Trucking companies, manufacturers, electricity producers — any industry that uses fossil fuels — would be subject to the CO2 cap and feel the cost of permits. And that cap would get progressively lower over the next several decades, increasing the cost of the permits.
Some arguments state that cap and trade will help offer predictability to the future cost of climate change. This allows business to assess the trend of increasing costs related to carbon emissions and find more cost effective ways to deal with the issue. Right now there are not many viable cost efficient ways business can reduce their emissions. By enacting a law like this it creates an entirely new business sector. Our economy could benefit from a new business sector, look at what computers did for our economy. We can take the solar, wind, ethanol or whatever they have not thought of yet industry by storm. Germany is an excellent example, they provided tax incentives for companies to invent solar energy technologies and they are now one of the world’s leaders in that industry. Once we make it economically feasible for companies to do the right thing they will.
For the consumer this is a positive change as well. Oil prices have spiraled out of control in the last year and we are unable as consumers to keep up with the cost. Not only is it costing us more to drive our cars to the store to buy the products but the products cost more to by because of the increase price in production and distribution. If we stay home it cost us more to heat or cool our houses. As consumers we need a more predictable way to pay for the things we need. This cap and trade bill although scary to individual out there because of the media’s portrayal of how it will affect the prices of our products is in our personal best interest as well as the environments.
For full text of comments on the bill from the World Resources Institute:
I will post more on this later this week but I wanted to put a brief description out there for everyone since it will be on the news.